Where Bach
Neighbours Beer

Discover the LSO warehouse and read about an exciting new project with our friends next door, Beavertown Brewery

LSO truck and Beavertown van parked together

The LSO Tottenham Warehouse, North London: bought in early 2013, it's since become home to our LSO touring truck and all sorts of Orchestra paraphernalia, not to mention our extensive archives and LSO Live recordings. It's even been used as a set-building space for the numerous semi-staged operas we've performed in recent years.

To find out more about the space and it's evolution during lockdown which has resulted in an exciting weekend of events in partnership with our Tottenham neighbours, Beavertown Brewery we caught up with LSO Stage & Transport Manager, Alan Goode. We also hear from Logan Plant, CEO and Founder of Beavertown, who's looking forward to joining forces!

Safely stored in the warehouse are all the usual bits and bobs you would expect an Orchestra to have (flight cases, music stands, etc). But there are also all sorts of weird and wonderful items tucked away! As Alan explains, 'If you can imagine it, it's there'. Whether that's a stash of pots and pans (part of the instrumentation for a recent Thomas Adès performance), a flight case full of harmonicas, or even a 10-foot butterfly and a pair of clogs!

More recently, however, the way we use this space has changed a huge amount. 'From the beginning of lockdown, we've talked about how we will redesign things for this new world. So much has changed, so everything we do has meant thinking outside the box.'

Of course, the arts sector aren't strangers to re-purposing industrial spaces. In 2018 the Orchestra performed Stockhausen in the Tate Modern's epic Turbine Hall. Projects such as these are all part and parcel of the LSO's aim to take music out of the concert hall.

'We decided to re-purpose the space into a rehearsal venue for a small to medium-sized orchestra, and a potential performance space for small ensembles plus an audience.'

The transformation from warehouse to viable rehearsal and performance space all happened during lockdown, which meant no contractors: everything was done in line with COVID restrictions by limited LSO hands.

Alan remembers the first time they tested out the space for live performance: 'The LSO Brass Ensemble rehearsal was a stand-out moment – that was the first project here after lockdown. We were nervous about the acoustics. How the space would work for musicians was a big worry, and we've had to help control the acoustics in the building ourselves by installing carpet and drapes.' But the feedback from players after that first rehearsal was positive. In our Tottenham warehouse we have a responsive and workable acoustic, a space that works for performance!

LSO truck

And so we come to our September project with Beavertown Brewery, famous for their unique selection of craft beers, and our warehouse neighbours since 2014, when they expanded their small business from Hackney Wick into the warehouse next-door.

CEO and Founder of Beavertown, Logan Plant said of the collaboration, 'We are really excited to work with our closest neighbours, the London Symphony Orchestra, in the first collaborative event of its kind (that we know of!). Combining our shared core values of creativity, entertainment and innovation to create an explosive beery invasion inside the LSO warehouse, we’re merging world-class music with world-class beer to create a one-of-a-kind series of performances by brass and percussion musicians, catered for by us in our shared home of Tottenham Hale.'

The Beavertown founder sees this project as a positive move for their community. 'We jumped at the chance to work together on an event that would give our community a much needed boost, as both the arts and the hospitality industries have been hit hard by COVID-19. But we’re coming back stronger than ever and are determined to keep providing guests with new, experimental experiences in a COVID-safe environment.'

Regulars to Beavertown's weekend taproom might have seen something of the LSO in the form of our truck, which you can generally find parked on the forecourt. But on 26 and 27 September, we’re going further and opening up our Tottenham warehouse to its first audiences, with a string of afternoon performances from the LSO Percussion Ensemble (Saturday) and LSO Brass Ensemble (Sunday).

For some, this weekend may well be their first experience hearing the players of the LSO, and that's something we're really excited about! Logan sees this as a real plus, 'If someone looked at LSO and Beavertown I don’t think you’d tend to associate one with the other! The LSO have such a rich history, while ours is only just beginning. A collaboration between companies young and old, we’re encouraging everyone to try something new by bringing together our differing audiences and creating a heightened sensory experience between sound and taste.'

And the LSO's Alan Goode can vouch for that heightened aural experience! 'Having seen the Percussion and Brass Ensembles, I can guarantee they're going to love it. Until you have seen and heard them, you don't know what to expect. They show there's no end to the talent we have at the LSO.'

Don't miss out

The London Symphony Orchestra and Beavertown Brewery are combining their neighbouring business units to present the Beavertown Taproom Sessions.

With afternoon performances from the LSO Percussion Ensemble (Saturday) and Brass Ensemble (Sunday). Plus, thanks to an extended taproom from our good friends Beavertown, audiences can enjoy a pre-concert drink on the forecourt in the shadow of the LSO truck!

Click below for full details and to book tickets.

Saturday 26 September
LSO Percussion Ensemble

Session times:

Sunday 27 September
LSO Brass Ensemble

Session times:

Part of LSO Local
Led by LSO players, LSO Local is a series of performances across one weekend, taking place all over London (and beyond). From venues local to you, to our own warehouse in Tottenham, and at LSO St Luke's on Old Street, we're bringing live music to the local community in the form of string quartets, our Percussion and Brass Ensembles, and more. Click here to find out more.